Monday, September 27, 2010

Not So Bad After All?

I know we’ve talked ad nauseum about my obsessive compulsiveness before I leave town. Lists, laundry, cleaning house, food buying… it never ends, it seems. And I do it to myself, I know. I’m currently getting ready to go out of town again, leaving family behind, and I’ve done the usual rounds of the grocery store, laundry room (although my husband assured me this time he could handle the laundry because he’ll have a day off while I’m gone, so I just washed loads that included my clothes), and cleaning the bathrooms (which this time is actually important because the day I come home, I have family coming into town for the weekend who are staying with us—I’d be totally embarrassed to find the bathrooms growing mold!).

But a funny thing happened yesterday to make me feel better about myself in this area. I was talking about the trip with my mother-in-law, who wonderful woman that she is, will be doing afternoon duty with my children after school this coming week. As we were talking, she said, “You’re going to write all this down for me, right?”

I hesitated, because I naturally assumed my lists were an aggravation at best, an indication of my control freakishness at worst. Then I said, “So you don’t mind the lists?”

“No,” she said, her brows raising in surprise. “I’m actually having a bit of a struggle because (her daughter) won’t leave me one. I can’t ever figure out when was the last time the baby ate or what time she’s due for a nap. I always end up calling her. You trained me well.”

Hmmm… maybe this obsessive compulsiveness isn’t so bad after all. It makes me feel better about leaving, and makes her feel more confident that she’s meeting our children’s needs. That’s got to count for something, right? It’s like all those things you go over with your children before you leave them alone in the house, or before they go off with friends, all the details I talk about with my mother in case something happens to her and her husband and I need to know where the security box is, the “In Case of Emergency” phone numbers and the calendar that keeps up with all our appointments. She doesn’t have to go searching for the information—its all right there if she needs it. She doesn’t have to call me or wonder what our normal routine is for homework. I’ve laid it all out for her, in stunning, OCD detail. ;)


Coming Soon!
This Friday author Julie Cohen drops in for another visit on the Playground!


Anonymous said...

I don't see my list making as OCD, I see it as making life less complicated. Once a list is made, I don't have to worry about forgetting something/someone and I can go about my haphazard way of living (I'm a Meyers-Briggs INFP!)

To simplify your life even more, I highly recommend investing in a Bic 4 color pen. Assign a color to each person in the family (I recommend red for you) and you can tell at a glance who is next on your schedule - sometimes it's you.

PC's Mom
Yes, you are having an ahh-haa moment about PC's need to make lists. :-)

Cheryl said...

I love lists - they are the only thing that keeps me organized. I even make a list on a sticky note to attach to the dashboard of my car so I won't forget to go to all the places where I have lists to shop.

robertsonreads said...

No, not OCD. I make a list on Saturday's, if it's going to be a busy one where I have a lot of places to go, and need to get a lot done that day. Or even that week for that matter.

I always keep post-its or note pad handy, so when a professor zooms in my office and is ready to zoom back out, I can jot down what he/she is requesting and send them on their way. Works very well for us both, in that I need written info, so if I can assign to a student worker, whenever she comes in, the work gets done and I am not racking my brain trying to remember what they requested, especially as I have a LOT of interuptions in my day.

Angel said...

The Playfriends are traveling so Internet is spotty. I'm so glad to know I'm not alone. PC's mom--I dont think I'm quite visual enough to need colors. I think a major part of the process for me is to actually put pen to paper. Then I can look at it later if I need to.